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TotalEnergies accelerates refinery wage talks as fuel supply shrinks



TotalEnergies offered to negotiate wage hikes in response to union demands. The strike caused disruptions at almost a third French petrol stations and forced the government into tapping its strategic reserves.

The company stated that it would move to October mandatory wage negotiations if all labor representatives were in agreement and any blockades are lifted.

Initial plans called for talks to start in mid-November.

Representatives of the union stated earlier that strikes organised by the CGT (a militant union in France) would continue. They shut down operations at two ExxonMobil and two TotalEnergies locations.

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France’s domestic fuel production dropped by more than 60% over the past two weeks. This has caused nerves to stretch across the country. There has been much industrial action as waiting lists increase and supplies run out.

According to the office of France’s energy minister, almost a third (33%) of France’s petrol stations had difficulty getting delivery of at most one fuel product on Sunday. This is an increase of 21% from the previous day.

France has increased its imports and released strategic reserve funds, Agnes Pannier Runacher (Energy Minister) stated in a statement. She stated that this would improve the supply situation Monday.


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She spoke to BFM TV, and expressed gratitude for TotalEnergie’s offer. She stated that she expected ExxonMobil’s move in France’s Esso France unit to be made “so the French people don’t feel held hostage by this socio-economic dispute and can go to work with confidence.”

ExxonMobil France did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

PROFITS FROM WINDFALL

The ExxonMobil wage negotiations have been ongoing for several week, while TotalEnergies’ CGT stated it had been trying get management to the table sooner rather than the formal talks next year.

The TotalEnergies workforce is seeking a 10% increase starting in the current year. This comes after TotalEnergies made huge profits during the energy price rise, which saw TotalEnergies pay EUR8 billion dividends and an additional special dividend for its investors.

The CEO of the company said last week that it was time to reward employees. Negotiations had not started with the company.

Representatives from CGT stated that they would not comment on TotalEnergie’s offer without first having discussions with workers and informing them.

Despite requesting a similar increase in pay, France’s largest union, CFDT, did not call for strikes. It stated however that it was willing to start wage negotiations in October.

Aurore Berge is the head of the governing Renaissance group in the lower house. He stated that workers are entitled to a share of extraordinary profits they make with their assistance but not ordinary people.

“It is unacceptable for workers to stage preemptive walkouts that will strike who.” On Sunday, she spoke out about French citizens who are forced to use their cars.


($1 = EUR1.0266)

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